Blogosphere Raves about Incredible Orchestra App

The classical blogosphere is all a-twitter, if you’ll pardon the pun, about the incredible new iPad app, The OrchestraTouch Press, in partnership with the Music Sales Group, conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, and the Philharmonia Orchestra have crafted an app which allows users to interact with eight symphonic works in ways I couldn’t have even imagined in a pre-iPad world.

While watching the orchestra perform a piece, you can switch between three camera angles to view various musicians as well as the ever-present video of conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. There is a dot-diagram of the orchestra which flashes in time with the music to show which sections of the orchestra are playing. You can also view full and reduced versions of the score. There is even an option in the Beethoven Symphony No. 5 performance to touch any section of the orchestra to hear the instrument(s) isolated from the rest of the group. And, if you’re the kind of person who likes having somebody talk while you’re listening to the music, you can turn on spoken commentary from Salonen and/or the orchestral musicians which runs along with each piece. If you’d rather read and listen to the music, the commentary is also available as subtitles.

Aside from watching the performances, the app also includes video showcases explaining how each instrument works along with musicians discussing their role in the orchestra. I was especially entertained by the viola information, which includes the common viola joke, “What’s the difference between the viola and a trampoline? You take off your shoes to jump on a trampoline.”

Bloggers have given rave reviews to the app. Tom Service of Guardian.co.uk called it, “one of the most impressive bits of app-ology I’ve ever seen.” Mel Martin of Tuaw.com said that the app is, “about the best use of multimedia audio and video I’ve ever seen on any computer platform.” The only negatives I’ve read about this app is the hefty $14 purchase price doesn’t give users full access to all of the features. Additional in-app purchases can cost $.99 each. In addition, the app offers only excerpts from symphonic pieces, rather than the complete works.

You can check out a video of  the app below.

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One comment on “Blogosphere Raves about Incredible Orchestra App
  1. Pingback: Beethoven’s 5 Secrets – OneRepublic (Cello/Orchestral Cover) – ThePianoGuys « music for the soul

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